Mikage station on the Hanshin line. From here you take the bus to the Rokko ropeway base station where you go up the mountain. At the top you can take another bus or you walk to the hotel. Walking is more pleasant, but bring a change of clothes in the summer.
The dinner was late this year; I was still at OCNC in Okinawa on my birthday, and we delayed it another couple of weeks to let me catch up with things once I came back. But a few weeks ago we finally went to Rokko mountain in Kobe, and to the barbecue at Rokko Mountain Hotel.
There's no real town along the top ridge, just houses spread out along the road, but it does have this store with daily foods and a large selection of wines, beers and spirits, including a local Rokko beer. There's many summer homes and corporate retreats on the mountain, so I can see the demand.
We last went there for O-bon two years ago. We had the buffet, which was tasty, but of course still buffet-type food. At the time we decided to return some day and have the course menu instead. Expensive, but with higher-quality food. My birthday was a perfect opportunity.
The lobster, with scallops and squid gently frying in the background. Overdoing the depth of field thing here, I think.
The course menu was very good indeed. The appetizer was a sampling plate with sashimi, marinated seafood and vegetables. The small lobster cooked in its own shell was succulent, and the main course meats were tender and flavourful, and included various cuts of lamb, chicken, pork and beef as well as sausages and lots of vegetables. My favourite (if not Ritsukos) was the lambchops, but the beefsteak and the thick bacon slices were excellent too. It finished with dessert and coffe. Well worth trying as an experience. The weather was rather hazy, unfortunately, so the view wasn't very photogenic.